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Author Archives: Rob Smoot

Rob Smoot

About Rob Smoot

Rob leads the marketing organization for VMware’s Virtualization & Cloud Management business. In this role Rob is responsible for taking a broad portfolio of cloud automation, cloud operations and overall IT business management solutions to market. Previously at VMware he led product marketing for the flagship vSphere vCenter product lines. Prior to VMware he held various corporate, product and sales strategy roles at Veritas and consulted software and technology clients on improving business processes and results. Rob received his MBA from Wharton Business School with emphasis on entrepreneurship and marketing.

VMware vCenter Operations Suite 5.0 is Now Available…and Can Accelerate Your Private Cloud & Virtualization of Business Critical Apps

The more we talk to our customers the more we hear that they are focused on two major tasks in 2012. The first is to extend their virtualization footprint by virtualizing more of their business critical applications (e.g., Exchange, CRM, etc.). The second is to accelerate their implementation of a private cloud, and extend it from their dev/test environments into production. For the success of both these initiatives, they recognize that their ability to ensure the performance and health of their virtual infrastructure is critical.

That’s why we’re very pleased to announce the general availability of VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite. This release delivers on the vision of a new approach to virtual and cloud infrastructure management announced at VMworld Copenhagen last October. On main stage we publicly rolled out the largest IT Management launch in our company’s history announcing three new Management Suites:  VMware  vCenter Operations Management Suite, VMware vFabric Application Management Suite, and VMware IT Business Management Suite. These solutions allow our customers to remove the complexity of managing IT not just at the infrastructure layer, where VMware has traditionally focused, but across all layers of IT. Together, the three management suites deliver on our mission to simplify and automate IT management in the cloud era and achieve the vision of IT as a Service.

As our customers virtualize their business critical applications and move to the cloud, the limitations of traditional management approaches are becoming increasingly apparent, as is the need for a new approach.  At VMware, we’re re-thinking infrastructure management. Our approach recognizes that key operations management disciplines—performance, capacity and configuration management—have become inseparable in dynamic virtual and cloud environments. The ability to ensure infrastructure performance and health is impacted by fluidly changing configurations and the sharing of capacity from a myriad of sources. The answer to this challenge isn’t more monitoring – most enterprises have more than enough monitoring solutions. The answer is more intelligence in the form of analytics to make sense of the millions of performance, capacity and configuration metrics these systems generate.

The vCenter Operations Management Suite is built around VMware’s conviction that today’s complex and highly dynamic infrastructures demand an integrated, converged approach to performance, capacity and configuration management. Rather than generating more monitoring data, it collects and analyzes performance data from across the entire IT stack. Its patented analytics correlate abnormalities to generate actionable intelligence that identifies the root cause of building performance problems[m2] .

1_dashboard_3The vCenter Operations Management Suite builds on many of the unique capabilities introduced with the launch of vCenter Operations 1.0 last year, while delivering a number of new innovations. Chief among these is a new Operations Management dashboard that provides an at-a-glance view of the overall status of your virtual and cloud environments with three “supermetrics”:  health (current behavior and problems); risk (potential for future problems); and efficiency (how well your resources are being utilized).  If there’s a problem, our new smart alerts will give you a pro-active warning, so you can drill all the way down to the individual VM or underlying infrastructure if necessary to resolve it before your end users are impacted.

The vCenter Operations Management Suite is ultimately about providing you with greater visibility to better manage your infrastructure and the applications that run on it.  For example, we’ve significantly extended the integration of configuration and capacity management. You can now see change events that occur inside your VMs, not just at the host level. And you can model your capacity to see its impact on future performance. With this greater visibility you can better maintain compliance and eliminate sprawl and configuration drift, while increasing your resource utilization efficiency. Today’s release also includes a new application discovery and dependency capability that provides application-awareness for users of vCenter Operations Management Suite to help with impact analysis, disaster recovery planning and datacenter and application migration projects.

If you, like so many of our other customers, are thinking about virtualizing one or more of your most critical business applications, or if you’re ready to make the move to the cloud, I encourage you to learn more about the vCenter Operations Management Suite.  A great place to start is today’s blog posting by Martin Klaus, Senior Product Marketing Manager for vCenter Operations, which provides a more detailed overview of the Suite’s new features and capabilities.

Rethinking Management in a Virtualized World

Hello, my name is Rob Smoot. I’m Director of Product Marketing for VMware’s vCenter management products.
In my nearly 6 years at VMware it has been exciting to watch how
virtualization has started transforming IT.  Fortunately for customers
(and for us… I admit I like being at a company that is growing!), this
transformation is still in its early phases. This revolution started by
helping customers to eliminate excess hardware capacity and capex
spending. I believe our next wave of innovation will reduce the
overwhelming complexity and operational cost of managing IT. In fact,
this is essential for the industry and for customers to deliver on the
notion of cloud computing or IT as a Service.

If you subscribe to
a future like VMware envisions where IT acts more like a service
provider and builds private clouds for internal customers, it’s worth
examining how other large public cloud service providers like Amazon
manage their environments. Perhaps better stated, how they manage
to scale their provisioning and operations to satisfy highly variable
demand in a predictable way as customers serve themselves. To start,
they offer only a few options. They don’t custom build to each incoming
request, which is the norm for most IT shops who are struggling to keep
up with the overwhelming demands of the business. Next, management
functionality is built into the system and highly automated to limit
dependence on human intervention. IT cannot afford an army of skilled
staff waiting on other end of a self-service portal to provision and
manage each environment. Finally, cloud environments are built with
highly standardized components and a lot of resiliency. When low level
components in the digital supply chain break, redundancy is built in,
broken parts are removed, and IT services keep running. In short, a
self-service approach and IT’s journey to become more like a service
provider requires a new level of automation and policy-based
control that is not possible with physical infrastructure and
traditional management approaches.

Internal IT can and must
replicate these aspects of the service provider model to simplify the
overwhelming complexity of management for the cloud era.  Easier said
than done, I know. Fortunately, the starting point and foundation for
this model is fully virtualized resources that can be manipulated, well…
like software! Most customers are on this path today. Virtualization
alone improves management in areas such as instant provisioning, but it
also introduces new challenges such as keeping pace with dynamic
infrastructure which doesn’t fit traditional management processes
designed for static environments. It becomes critical that management
technologies understand and take advantage of virtual environments, not
only to survive during the transition from physical to virtual but to
thrive with a new and different approach to management where it is more a
part of the system itself.

In future posts I’ll delve deeper
into how management changes in a fully virtualized or cloud environment.
I’ll also give you an inside view into how we are thinking differently
about management as we strive to solve today’s challenges and prepare
customers for a different approach to management in the cloud era.